The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) has recommended cutting weekly working hours to 44 from the current 48, saying it would improve workers’ wellbeing, family life and relationship.
At a press conference held in Hanoi on September 17, Deputy Head of VGCL’s Department of Labour Relations Le Dinh Quang highlighted that Vietnam is among countries with longest workweeks in the world, just behind Kenya and Seychelles (over 48 hours).
Meanwhile, Vietnamese workers are entitled to a minimum of 12 days statutory annual paid leave, which is among the fewest in the world.
According to Quang, reducing working hours is a progressive trend of mankind. Along with the development of production means, less working hours ensures higher productivity while maintaining workers’ health, and giving workers more time to take care of their families and take part in social activities.
“Shorter working week will help increase the number of workers in the labour market, and give workers more time to rest and study so as to further their competence and skills”, Quang said.
The VGCL also suggested adding more public holidays, proposing two options, one of which is four days off to celebrate the National Day (from September 2-5), and the other is one day off for the Vietnamese Family Day (June 28), and two days for the New Year holiday on solar calendar.
A new proposal for Labor Code amendments to reduce the standard working hours from 48 hours per week to 44 hours has been rejected for its lack of feasibility.
The business community has protested the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs’ (MOLISA) intention to cut the weekly maximum working hours from 48 to 44 hours.